How the brain processes words in print and words on a screen

I've read lots of places the claim that there is a difference between the way the human mind processes the printed word and words on a screen.

I'm wondering whether there's any research on the subject. My initial search hasn't been very fruitful. This is not particularly important. I just know that I find it harder to skim for relevant text when I'm reading on the computer, and am wondering whether this is just a matter of learned habits, or something neuroscience-y.

Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I don't know of any research

I don't know of any research on the subject, but I have trouble processing words on a screen too. Most of the time, if it's more than a few paragraphs, I print it out. Plus I like to highlight and take notes. Lot easier to do on paper. I wouldn't be surprised at all if there was some scientific neurosciency (I like that, by the way) reason for it.

I have trouble reading on a screen too

If I am reading something that I want to actually comprehend, analyze, and remember I have to read it on paper. On the screen it just doesn't process. I don't read much on my computer screen except newspapers (science articles I print to read), blogs, and lightweight stuff I find amusing but not critical or that I want to savor and enjoy. No digital books, no research materials, no journal articles, no directions on how to fix my dryer, no recipes, etc. They all go to paper before I can read them for anything beyond quick amusement. I, too, think neurosciencey is a good word.

Text to speech is an alternative

I too find it easier to read on paper than on the screen. However, I do not normally print to read, unless I feel the need to deeply analyze what I am read over and over. Instead, I use Audible books, and text to speech software. I often listen to the news that way (NewsAloud, not free but I got is as a giveaway of the day).
AT&T natural voices was one of my better technology investments.

i actually read better

i actually read better on-screen
then again, i read fun stuff on-screen, textbooks off-screen, generally. so, probably not valid data.

anyone selling rollabind/circa punch, etc? I'm looking to start.